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Army bans aviator training after fatal crash – The Morning Call


JUNAU, Alaska (AP) — The U.S. Army has grounded its air force for training after helicopter crashes in Alaska and Kentucky killed 12 soldiers last month, the military branch said Friday. Did.

The suspension of air operations took effect immediately and the unit was on the ground until it completed its training, said Lt. Col. Terrence Kelly, an Army spokesperson. For active duty units, training takes place between May 1st and He May 5th. Army National Guard and Reserve units must complete training by May 31st.

“This move will suspend all Army aviators until they complete the required training, except for those on critical missions,” the Army said in a statement.

Three soldiers were killed and a fourth wounded when two Army helicopters collided Thursday near Healy, Alaska. Aircraft from the 1st Attack Battalion of the 25th Air Regiment at Fort Wainwright near Fairbanks were returning from training when they crashed, according to the Army. Part of the 11th Airborne Division.

Military investigators headed inside Alaska, according to U.S. Army Alaska spokesperson John Pennell. Little new information about the crash was released on Friday.

The Army said Thursday that two soldiers died at the scene and a third died en route to a hospital in Fairbanks. His fourth soldier, who was injured, was taken to a hospital and is in stable condition on Friday, Pennell said. The names of those killed were not immediately released.

“The safety of our aviators is our number one priority, and this shutdown is an important step to ensure that we do everything possible to prevent accidents and protect personnel,” said Army Chief of Staff James McConville. spoke of the ground movement decision of the air unit. for training.

This is the second military helicopter crash in Alaska this year.

In February, an Apache helicopter taking off from Talkeetna overturned, injuring two soldiers. This aircraft was one of his four from Fort Wainwright to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage.

In March, two U.S. Army Black Hawk medical evacuation helicopters crashed during a routine nighttime exercise about 30 miles northeast of Fort Campbell, Kentucky, killing nine soldiers.

The Army said Thursday’s crash and the crash in Kentucky remain under investigation, but “there is no indication that there is any pattern between the two crashes.”

About 1,000 people live in Healy, about 10 miles (16 km) north of Denali National Park and Preserve, or about 250 miles (400 km) north of Anchorage.

Located on the Parks Highway, this community is a popular place to spend the night for visitors to Denali Park, home to the highest mountain on the continent.

Healy is also famous for being the closest town to an abandoned former bus in the backcountry, made popular by the book Into the Wild and the movie of the same name. The bus was removed and moved to Fairbanks in 2020.

https://www.mcall.com/2023/04/28/army-grounds-aviators-for-training-after-fatal-crashes/ Army bans aviator training after fatal crash – The Morning Call

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